A non-binary person in Canada has been assaulted in a hate-crime, and has said that they are now afraid to leave the house.
Andrea Stratis, who is from Whitehorse, had headphones in when someone shouted the word “faggot” and they were punched in the face.
Stratis told CBC that a bystander who witnessed the hate crime shouted at the attacker, who then ran away.
They called the police and reported the hate crime, and the police force has since conceded that there may have been an “under-response” to the incident.
Hate crime: verbal and physical attacks
Stratis told CBC that they were not surprised to be attacked, and that it was the culmination of a series of challenging incidents in recent months.
They were recently harassed at a park for being non-binary, and only escaped when they locked themselves in a nearby office.
Stratis also said that they have been verbally harassed in the city on a number of occasions.
“I get a lot of, ‘Why are your jeans so tight? Why is your hair so long? Why does your face look like that?’” Stratis said.
Superintendent Brian Jones of RCMP told CBC that it was sad to think that somebody might not be able to go about their business in the city.
“If they feel like they’ve been targeted in a crime, we really want those people to come forward and talk to us,” he added.
Meanwhile, earlier this week it was reported that hate crimes in Canada had skyrocketed by 47 percent last year.
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There were 2,073 hate crimes in Canada in 2017, up from 1,409 in 2016, with Canada’s Jewish, Muslim and black populations being worst hit.
Barbara Perry, a criminology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, told The Washington Post earlier this week that the leap was more than just an improvement in reporting.
Anti-trans stickers in Canada
In September, it was revealed that anti-transgender stickers that bear the words “women don’t have penises” had spread to Canada.
CBC reported that the stickers were being used to target gender-neutral toilet facilities at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The university recently opened a number of single-stall gender-neutral toilets in addition to the men’s and women’s facilities, to cater for trans and non-binary people who may not feel comfortable in gender-segregated toilets.
The trans-inclusive toilets were plastered with “women don’t have penises” stickers and others that claim “transitioning worsens dysphoria.”
Andrew Kenney, MUN student union’s trans rep, told CBC: “It makes me uneasy.
“Putting the gender-neutral washrooms in place was a huge step for trans people on campus feeling safe, and now that those areas have been targeted it’s disheartening, and it’s kind of scary.
“Being a trans person I know that transphobia exists. I’ve seen it before, [but] it’s disappointing to see it in my university where I’m supposed to feel safe.”